Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, December 2, 2022

Safely decorating your home for the holiday season

It’s easy to get caught up in the busiest, most festive time of the year, but there are important things to remember during the holidays to protect your family and your home.

Remember, as you deck your halls this season, those beautiful decorations can become safety hazards.

Here are some important tips for keeping the holidays free of disasters at home.

Holidays decorations

“Holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire,” says Chattanooga Fire Marshal William Matlock. “Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because someone placed the decorations too close to a heat source. Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, wall heaters, space heaters, candles and heat vents. And make sure it doesn’t block exits.

“Also read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect and check your holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear. They should also be UL approved.”

More than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles, according to the Chattanooga Fire Department. With this in mind, never leave a burning candle unattended and consider using battery-operated flameless candles.

Christmas trees

Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires each year. Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry.

A dry tree is dangerous because it can ignite easily. Then it will burn very hot and very fast.

Your tree should have a stable base to prevent it from tipping over. Also ensure there are no tripping hazards around it.

Holiday cooking

During the holidays, the CFD responds to a large number of cooking-related calls. Be sure to take precautions against kitchen fires when you’re cooking and baking.

This includes keeping children and flammable items such as grocery bags, boxes and kitchen towels away from the stove and oven.

Also, don’t leave food unattended and set a timer to remind you that you have things happening in the kitchen in case you become distracted.

To find home professionals to clean your chimney, inspect your roof before jolly St. Nick lands, safely install holiday lights, or help with any other decorating or remodeling need, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s website at www.HBAGC.net.